Join our regular networks and share your concerns, find support and discuss the latest news.
When is Christmas news too early?
Our grandmother always used to say no Christmas decorations up before school's out, but these days, the witches have barely been banished on All Soul's Day and out come the twinkling lights and sagging Santa on the front lawn.
Government is getting into the festive swing (insert seasonal joke about funding and Scrooge here) with a new film with Martin Kemp starring as Father Christmas. Those of you old enough will know that Mr Kemp is actually more famous as a member of Spandau Ballet, one of the foremost New Romantic bands, than a walk-on star in Eastenders.
Anyway, to Cut a Long Story Short, the new film can be found here. Whilst far-fetched it's actually True. Hopefully, this form of Communication will be a Lifeline for those hesitating about covid boosters. Promises to be Gold.
You're welcome to this 80s selection of earworms.
Further push to encourage pregnant women to be vaccinated with this video from unvaccinated mothers. Warning that this discusses the experience of severe Covid-19 during pregnancy and some people may find it distresssing.
Despite the rapid spread of Omicron, nationally the R rate has not changed from a range of 0.9 to 1.1 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 11 other people. However, the rate is slightly higher in the southeast at a range of 1.0 to 1.2.

UKHSA has provided an update on the provisional scope of the updated How to Work Safely (HTWS) guidance
It outlines the IPC principles required to work safely and builds on previous HTWS guidance as well as applying improved evidence about Covid-19 and best practices developed in the sector. The guidance recognises the importance of vaccinations against flu and Covid-19 (which includes the booster dose) against infection for those at a higher risk and the continued risk of emergent variants. 

In terms of provisional content, UKHSA say that the new HTWS will include information on:
  • what has changed
  • what has stayed the same
  • who the guidance is for
  • principles of IPC during Covid-19
  • hierarchy of controls (apologies for the quality of document - it's what we received)
  • chain of infection, and
  • standard IPC principles.

The time period for responses on the draft document has been extended to a week.
The target publication date has been moved to after Christmas (approx. 20 Jan). 

Key points from a recent discussion with provider stakeholders:
  • A clear rationale for the change of guidance will be included.
  • Stakeholders stressed the importance of including a summary of what has and has not changed as some people will only look at that section. UKHSA said that they are working to make the guidance more accessible.
  • A stakeholder said that they are happy that the unpaid carers' guidance is being translated as this provision is recognition of the work that unpaid carers do. 
NHS@home - operational update. Issue 7 includes:
  • pulse oximetry for people with dark skin
  • blood pressure @home update
  • other items in the media
Public campaign for help NHS and social care this winter
  • £700 million targeted investment for 785 schemes across 187 hospital trusts to increase capacity and tackle waiting lists 
  • Government sets out plan to addresses NHS and social care challenges this winter including responding to high demand alongside COVID-19 
  • Public advised to play their part by getting COVID-19 and flu jabs, and contacting 111 for urgent medical advice 
Hospitals across the country will benefit from a share of £700 million to expand wards, install modular operating theatres, upgrade outpatient spaces and MRI and screening technology, to help reduce waiting lists. 
The funding, to be split across all regions in England, will help reduce waiting times for patients by expanding the number of operating theatres and beds, including new day surgery units to prevent people staying overnight and investment in technology to improve their experiences of care and help them manage their conditions.  
Alongside this, the government is today publishing a document setting out the key challenges facing NHS and social care services this winter, including COVID-19 and the potential threat of variants, preparations being undertaken to keep people safe and healthy, as well as the actions the public can take.  
It comes after the Covid-19 booster programme was extended to all adults in England – with everyone aged over 18 to be offered a booster by the end of January – to help protect against the Omicron variant. 
Today’s investment is part of the £5.4 billion already announced to support the NHS response to the pandemic in the second half of the year. In total, the government is investing over £34 billion of additional funding in health and social care services this year. 
The pandemic put unprecedented pressure on the NHS. To fix this, the NHS needs to be able to offer more appointments, operations, and treatments. New, innovative practices must be adopted so patients continue to receive the best possible care.   
The allocations for the £700 million announced today include £330 million for upgrading NHS facilities, £250 million for new technology and £120 million for any supporting revenue costs.  
What our legal partners, Royds Withy King, say about the White Paper
The long-awaited White Paper on Social Care reform was published by the Government today. It will disappoint and frustrate social care providers as it fails to address the lack of adequate funding into the sector and consequently the need to improve pay to attract and retain staff.

You may also be interested in:
Government guidance update
From HSE
Healthwatch Oxfordshire would like your help, have your say on rural isolation.
  • Are you affected by it?
  • Do you know someone that is?
Community First Oxfordshire, on behalf of Healthwatch Oxfordshire, is undertaking a short survey to better understand the levels of rural isolation felt in rural communities.
Skills for Care are extending the timescale for you to submit WDF funding claims for the WDF 2021-22 year. The original final date for claiming WDF in this funding year is extended from 31/03/2022 to 31/05/2022
This means Certificates with a date of issue in April or May 2022 will be accepted as evidence in support of WDF 2021-22 claims.
Important to note:
Between now and the end of May WDF funding submissions will continue to be sent to Skills for Care on a monthly basis. The cut-off date to get your funding claims to us is the 20th of each month.

As the extension to 31/5/21 for submitting funding claims is based on 2021-22 eligibility it means we can continue to accept claims until 31 May 2022 for members who update and meet ASC-WDS requirements for WDF by 31 March 2022. 

If the above information results in you wishing to claim additional funding, TVWD can submit your request. please let Sarah know before 15 December.
Sarah Jarvis
Administrator -Thames Valley Workforce Development Partnership (TVWD)
Telephone: 07912 083 480 
BOB IP&C Leads have been provided with some funding to support IP&C across Healthcare in BOB and are planning to provide opportunities for acute staff, community, SCAS, Care Home and wider social care staff.
It is planned to divide the funds between IP&C training and qualifications and also a suite of short training videos to demonstrate transmission and how to prevent it. To allocate the qualifications and training fairly across BOB and different healthcare settings, we shall invite across a broad field and ask for a written statement as to why the training is important to the individual and shall shortlist applicants to ensure there is commitment and maximum coverage of opportunities.

BOB is currently looking at a combination of:
Hilary Munube at Oxfordshire CCG would like to hear from Oxfordshire care providers about which types of training would be best suited to maximise IP&C awareness across Care Homes.

Secondly, she is looking for a Care Home willing to provide a location to film a Care Home setting and provide 2 staff members as Care Home workers and a 3rd or 4th willing to act as residents in the short video clip. The script is being drafted, so if there were any IP&C issues you would like to have included in the clip, please let Hilary know. The videos should be no more than 5 minutes long and suitable to be either stand-alone and played in staff break rooms, or incorporated into local training. The filming would require OUH staff to enter the care home and they would provide proof of double vaccination in line with VCOD.
Oxfordshire provider networks
  • OACP Home Care network: Monday 1-2 via Zoom. Next meeting: 20 December
  • OACP Learning Disability network: Tuesday 10-11 on Teams. Next meeting: 21 December.
  • OACP-OCA Care Home network: Wednesday 2-3 via Zoom. Next meeting: 15 December.
  • OACP Day centre network: 2nd Friday in the month via Zoom. Next meeting: 10 December.
Webinar & Podcast city
Social Care sector: Points-based immigration system and the status of EU citizens
What is the points-based system? What is a salary threshold? How do I become a licenced sponsor? What do I need to do for my EU national employees?

On 1 January 2021 free movement ended and the UK introduced a new points-based immigration system. The new system treats EU and non-EU citizens equally and has transformed the way in which all people come to the UK to work and study. Anyone coming to the UK to work or study, excluding Irish citizens, will need to apply for permission in advance.

Join officials from the Home Office's Engagement and Policy teams for a short webinar providing an overview of the points-based immigration system for the Social Care sector.
  • Monday 13 December 2021
  • 10:00 – 11:00
  • Book here

The session will include updates on the following:
  • Skilled Worker visa
  • How to become a Home Office sponsor
  • Other Immigration Routes
  • Right to Work checks
  • EU Settlement Scheme
  • Support available
  • Q&A
Getting to grips with Digital basics
This session is aimed at people who aren’t confident or comfortable with digital technology and who want to know more about it
In this session, our colleague at Barclays Digital Eagles will focus on helping you with tasks for work, like completing online forms, searching for information, and lots of other top tips for going digital.
They will go through everything you need to know about using digital technology, right from the very beginning.

Remaining session
  • Thurs 9 December
  • 2 pm - 3 pm
  • Delivered via Zoom
To book a place, please email and specify which session you want to attend.
Social media can be a great way to get your message out to people
This session is aimed at people who may want to boost their recruitment opportunities via social media, but who may not be confident with the various types of social media and what’s involved.
In this session, Skills for Care colleagues will look at messaging you can use through social media to attract people to come and work at your service.
Our colleague at Barclays Digital Eagles will show you how messaging can be sent out via social media. They will focus on four keys areas of social media- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and What's App.

Remaining session:
  • Thurs 9 December
  • 10 am - 11.30 am
  • Delivered via Zoom
To book a place, please email and specify which session you want to attend.
Proud to Care Oxfordshire
A new website for people looking to enter adult social care has been launched today. A partnership of OACP, Aspire Oxford, Activate Learning and OCC, the website builds on experiences in other local areas to attract people into the sector.
The website is open to all care providers operating in Oxfordshire across all settings. Over the next few months we will add information on what the sector offers; the different roles available and support available to enable a first step into social care.

If you would like to advertise on Proud to Care, please contact Jane Wood or Diana Olszewska at Proud to Care is managed by OACP.
Your free guide to recruitment and retention in care
As England introduces new national lockdown restrictions, and the government is reportedly drawing up plans for carers to be banned from working in more than one home, there has never been a more important time to attract and retain your brilliant people.
With that in mind, the care experts of OACP partner, Citation, have created a free guide on recruitment and retention, specifically for care providers.
This guide includes things to consider when recruiting the right people for your business, and methods and tips for engaging your employees to keep them happy and working for you.

Your OACP member benefit
From recruitment and retention, staff training, mental health and wellbeing, professional bereavement and tricky HR issues, to infection control, risk assessments and visiting arrangements, Citation can help you operate both safely and compliantly in the coming weeks and months.
They can also help with fire and electrical safety, Care Policies & Procedures, Care Mock Inspections, and CQC Pro – an application to demonstrate you’re meeting CQC requirements.
To find out more or arrange a free consultation, click here or call 0345 844 1111.
Quote ‘Oxford Association of Care Providers’ when enquiring to access your preferential rates as a member.
Testing guidance
This very useful page brings together all testing guidance for adult social care, including non-regulated services.
Bookmark it.
DSPT support for Berks, Bucks and Oxon
Link and instructions on how to book: See also June webinars above.

If you are not sure which is the right webinar for you, please contact the DSPT team at This is our dedicated team delivering the Better Security, Better Care roll-out across the Thames Valley.

If you are based in MK and have not yet been contacted by Bedfordshire Care Association who are leading on this for BLMK ICS area, please let us know and we will signpost you.

And Train your staff to be Cyber Aware
COVID-19 infection rates dashboards usually updated weekly:

Check vaccination levels across the country via this interactive map for first dose and second dose - whole population statistics.
Trusted Assessor services

The Oxfordshire Trusted Assessor service is now closed.
For Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, the Trusted Assessor Service is run for care homes only by Lincolnshire Care Association.
Contact: Michelle Yusuf -
The project runs also for Hinchingbrooke and Addenbrookes hospitals.
BCA, MKB Care and OACP working together for you.
Care Association Alliance | our big family
As well as a constant stream of questions and answers by email from around the country, we are also part of the CAA weekly teleconference - Wednesdays at 10am. This informs us of current concerns and potential solutions and helps inform our local communications.
Consistent, quality information
We are mailing out once a week on a Wednesday, so you know when to look out for it. These updates will provide summary advice on emerging issues and signpost providers to government and other statutory agency advice as needed.

We are always keen to hear from providers, if you have anything you would like to share with provider colleagues, please send to the usual address.

Receiving this newsletter for the first time?
We are adding new colleagues all the time.
Please let us know if there are other colleagues you would like this mailing sent to.

OACP Member offers | OACP works with the following suppliers to bring you market insight, quality products and expert advice. Contact them today - click on the logo...
Help yourself to help us
Now available for all Oxfordshire care providers.
Spectrum is a well-established buying consortium with an emphasis on the Care Sector including care homes, domiciliary care and supported living. They have been sourcing discounts with major suppliers for their members since 1992.